The members of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) consists of persons who serve as directors of art museums in the United States, Canada, and Mexico which – by purpose, size, and standards of operation – meet the eligibility requirements established by the Trustees of the Association. Membership in the Association of Art Museum Directors is based on the qualifications of both the individual director and the specific art museum. No art museum may be represented by more than one individual. The Association currently has 209 members.

The term "director" is here used to designate that officer who has ultimate responsibility for the works of art owned by or lent to the museum, including jurisdiction over their acquisition, exhibition, preservation, study, and interpretation. Eligible individuals will be professionally qualified for their positions by a sufficient combination of art historical training, museum experience, demonstrated ability and adherence to the Code of Ethics of the Association.

An art museum is a legally organized, not-for-profit institution or component of a not-for-profit institution or government entity with a mission to study, care for, interpret, and exhibit works of art. It is essentially educational in nature, engaging the public and community in regularly scheduled programs and exhibitions. Most, but not all, art museums have collections. A museum is administered by a professional staff and governed by a body that sets general policy and is legally and financially responsible for the museum. A museum may also have volunteers who serve a variety of support functions. A museum generally carries out its mission in facilities that are open to the public for designated hours on a regular basis.